The Role of Employers in Community Health Care Systems

July/August 1998
Health Affairs , vol.17, no.4 (July/August 1998): 158-164
Jon B. Christianson

mployers can play an important role in shaping community health care systems by efforts to institute system change, negotiations with health plans and decisions about the structure of health benefits for their employees. During the recent period of relative health premium stability, employers have responded to employees’ concerns about managed care by: participating in coalitions with other employers to gain leverage with providers; becoming active in the health policy arena around specific issues; adopting less restrictive managed care options regarding choice of providers and access to specialists; monitoring the performance of health plans and providers; contracting directly to hold down costs; and tailoring a benefit package and provider network to meet specific needs.

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